“While I was happy to see the showing and support at the Capitol press conference and rally yesterday, it is frustrating that in 2016 we still need to have an ‘Equal Pay Day’ conversation. The fact that a typical Michigan woman is earning 75 cents for every dollar a man makes is ridiculous, but the fact that women of color are disproportionally affected is absolutely heartbreaking. Despite all the rhetoric claiming that this disparity is a result of a woman’s choice of career or family structure, this gap persists when accounting for education level and experience. This should be a seemingly easy problem to fix, but we seem to be suffering from a lack of empathy, condemning the mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and other relevant women we know and love to a lifetime of diminished earnings and, as a result, diminished autonomy. That’s why it’s our responsibility as legislators to rectify an injustice like this, when private interests can’t or won’t. Not only do the House Democrats want to eliminate the gap, we want to take steps which will prevent it from existing again. My bill, House Bill 4492, as part of a package of legislation aiming to create pay equity, would allow remedies for wage discrimination under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It is my hope that soon this bill, and the others in the package, will not only be taken seriously by House Republicans, but be taken up by them in the Legislature as well.”